*BDP inner circles claim he is going back
*BMD officially refutes allegations
*Inside sources say he is positioning the party for a hung parliament
The Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD) has dismissed allegations that the party’s Vice President, Botsalo Ntuane was set to retrace his steps back to the BDP soon. Following Ntuane’s recent conciliatory tone in his reply to the state of the nation address and his subsequent meeting with president Ian Khama, allegations have been rife that the Leader of Opposition in parliament was planning to return to the party which gave birth to the BMD in a bitter break away last year.
Although the BDP’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Lee Lesetedi refused to disclose any information pertaining to BDP’s efforts to recruit Ntuane arguing that to do so would be to jeopardise the party strategy, excited inside sources from the BDP executive committee have claimed that by the end of the year the vibrant politician will be back in their fold.
Speaking a day after Ntuane’s wedding, which attracted BDP cadres in large numbers, a source from the BDP who asked not to be named claimed that Ntuane had in principle agreed to join the BDP, but had requested to be given time to prepare for his departure to make it as smooth as possible.”
“We have been recruiting him vigorously because he has a large following and his departure would be sure to deal a death blow to the umbrella negotiations. We want him to make his move before the deadline for the umbrella talks which is 31st December.”
The source went further to disclose that the BDP had identified several other ‘soft targets’ from the BMD to destabilise the Umbrella talks and formation. “The best way to jeopardise the formation of the umbrella party is through the BMD because other parties that have been in existence for a long time have never stopped us from winning elections before,” the inside source said.
Refuting the allegation BMD Spokesperson, Rasina Rasina said: “We know exactly where the rumours came from: The BDP! They should stop making those irresponsible remarks. Ntuane is aware of those rumours but he will remain loyal to the party.” Rasina also advised his colleagues to desist from discussing politics when they meet with BDP members on social levels.
Ntuane himself however was cagey when confronted with the allegations.A text message he sent for fear of being misquoted said, “Politics is a game of rumours and misinformation, so as a politician we are accustomed to it but you must acknowledge that parties recruit from one another every day. We recruit MPs, Councillors and activists from the BDP, they too do the same. It’s normal but whether they or we succeed is another matter altogether. If we understood things in this context there would be no need for palpitations.”
When told that there will always be ‘palpitations,’ speculations and even jitters especially from his voters if he did not set the record straight about the alleged move, he declined to comment further except to say that what he had already said should suffice.
Meanwhile an impeccable source from within the BMD has it on record that Ntuane’s friendly and conciliatory tone towards the BDP was simply meant to place the BMD in a favourable position in case the 2014 elections produces a hung parliament and the need for the election winners to broker a power sharing deal arises.
A hung parliament is one in which no party has an overall majority, which means no party has more than half of MPs in parliament which would then mean that whichever party ends up in power will not be able to win votes to pass laws without the support of members of other parties.
That support may come in the form of a formal coalition with smaller parties, or the governing party may have to negotiate with other parties to get laws passed.
“The truth is that the party that will win the next elections will do so with such a tiny margin that it will require them to form a coalition or reach an understanding with at least one other party for them to have an effective government and to get legislation through.
“What Ntuane is doing therefore is to position the BMD in such a way that should the election produce no clear majority winner, the BMD should be able to share power with the winning party, whether it be BDP, BCP or the the BNF.”